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Haverhill High Grad Finds Balance at NECC

Submitted by on July 19, 2011 – 10:48 am

Noelia Figuereo

Noelia Figuereo came to Northern Essex expecting to further her education. What this gifted athlete didn’t expect was to find a renewed interest in track which brought a balance to her very full life.

When the Haverhill resident graduated from Haverhill High School in 2009 she left with average grades and an above-average talent for track – a talent she didn’t nurture because she found it difficult to balance studies and athletics. She found that balance at Northern Essex.

“I was really lost,” she says. “I wanted to pick myself up and come here and start my college education.”

Coming from a close-knit family where she helps care for her ailing grandmother, Noelia was happy NECC was just a few miles from her home. “She used to take care of me, so it is important to me that I give back to her,” she says.
Noelia was happier still that it offered track. Her first year, she won a national title for the 200 meter.

“It was the best thing for me to come here and work with someone who made me challenge myself on the track,” she says. More importantly, she adds, “I found self-motivation and learned how to balance my class schedule with my track schedule and home obligations.”

Spending time with her grandmother, she says, served as inspiration for her to pursue a nursing degree. She is currently taking her prerequisite classes in the hopes of entering a nursing program in the fall of 2013.

“The thing about NECC is there are so many ways to explore what you like. There are endless ways to learn here.